Greatness is to protect; failure is to destroy. “A line must be drawn in the tundra, ensuring that it remains a place where a boot print continues to surprise us.” – NYT
Comment by the editors
From President Eisenhower in 1960 to President Carter in 1980, the nearly nine million acres Arctic National Wildlife Range doubled in size – to preserve “the unique wildlife, wilderness and recreational values” of this landscape.
The Trump administration, and oil interests and their allies in Congress want to invade and squander this pristine area, which takes up less than 5 percent of the coastal plain – a critical birthing coordinate.
The following is an excerpt from a New York Times article by Martin Robards, a regional director for the Arctic Beringia program at the Wildlife Conservation Society, and George Schaller, a senior conservationist at W.C.S. and vice president of Panthera.
Prudhoe Bay is the largest oil field in North America and one of the top 20 globally. It has undoubtedly brought wealth and prosperity to Alaska, but spills of oil and chemicals, large and small, take place each year. Various laws require that this region is cleaned up once the oil has been exhausted. But who will pay for that in this pro-development world is anyone’s guess.
The Arctic refuge must continue to be preserved as a symbol of America’s natural heritage. It remains a healthy ecosystem supporting wildlife, and native peoples as they adapt to profound climate-related changes. True wilderness holds a spiritual value that can nourish us. That is why the American public enjoys its national parks, monuments, and other protected areas.
There will always be pro-development forces and those with political agendas who are prepared to dismantle, cripple, gut and destroy our natural heritage for short-term gain, heedless of the long-term cost to us as a civilization. In that effort, they forget that everything we want, need and have come from nature.
Congress should stop its headlong rush to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration and extraction.
Surely patriotism encompasses the protection of the most pristine and beautiful representations of America